Pulaski, Virginia town council approves MOU for passenger train service

July 24, 2015

As Pulaski is right on the way between Bristol and Roanoke, the effort to get passenger rail service through Amtrak is contingent on the town’s support to make the dream a reality.

Taking another step toward possibly bringing an Amtrak station to the New River Valley, the Pulaski Town Council has voted to grant Mayor Jeff Worrell the authority to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that would connect the town with several other areas by way of the railroad. A draft of that memorandum of understanding was reviewed before the vote was cast at the council’s July work session.

Roanoke is currently expecting to have passenger rail service by 2017, according to Town Manager Shawn Utt. Bristol has also been working for the past several years to develop a westward Amtrak connection.

Their goal is currently to have service up and running by 2019. Amtrak, along with the state of Virginia and everyone else involved in the process, has suggested that the easiest way for Bristol to get passenger rail service is to have the train come from Roanoke to Bristol.

In order to make that happen, Virginia and Amtrak have funded studies. According to Utt, Bristol has a much larger goal of connecting to Chattanooga, Tenn., Atlanta and Louisville as they see themselves being a hub and those connecting cities being “spokes” to other areas.

“I have to give them credit because they have a pretty good game plan,” Utt said.

The MOU the council agreed to sign is with Bristol, Va., Bristol, Tenn., Chattanooga, Louisville and Atlanta, as well as other localities along the route. As it turns out, Pulaski is included among those localities.


Writer Calvin Pynn of The Southwest Times has the complete story by clicking here.

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